Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How a New Form of Light Could Simplify Quantum Research

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

How a New Form of Light Could Simplify Quantum Research

Article excerpt

Could a Frankenstein particle change quantum research for the better?

Physicists have described a new form of light produced by binding photons to single electrons. According to their study, published Friday in Nature Communications, the mashed-up particles could be used in new photonic circuits and allow the study of quantum phenomena on the visible scale.

"The results of this research will have a huge impact on the way we conceive light," said lead author Vincenzo Giannini in a statement.

Photons are the basic particle component of light. When these particles come in contact with a material, they interact with numerous electrons on the material's surface. Dr. Giannini, who lectures at Imperial College London's physics department, sought to study the interaction of photons with a "recently discovered" class of materials called topological insulators.

Giannini's team of physicists and material scientists developed digital models that would predict the interaction. Their models, which were based on a single nanoparticle made of a topological insulator, showed that light could interact with just one surface electron.

By coupling the two particles, researchers could combine certain properties of both. Light normally travels in a straight line, but when bound to a single electron, it could follow the electron's path along a material surface. And, while electrons usually stop when they encounter a poor conductor, the addition of photons would allow the coupled particle to continue moving. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.